BY NEIL McKNIGHT
GLEBE Rangers are confident of keeping their Steel & Sons Cup dream alive despite a player registration crisis which has engulfed the club.
The side are set to take on Bangor in a quarter-final tie on Saturday but have played down fears that they might be booted out after fielding an unsigned player in an earlier round of the competition.
Last week the IFA’s Championship Executive Committee announced that David McVicker was not eligible for three Championship 1 games in August which have now been awarded as 3-0 wins to their opponents.
Despite the penalties the club have only lost one league point from a season-opening draw against Warrenpoint Town as they lost the other two matches.
The player has since signed the relevant forms.
However manager Gary Scott is confident his side will still be allowed to play in the prestigious cup competition following the simple administration error.
He said the club immediately informed the IFA of the registration mistake when it first came to light seven weeks ago.
Rangers beat Cliftonville Olympic in the first round of the competition in which McVicker scored two goals to beat the Belfast side.
Scott said no club has complained about the error and that he is looking forward to Saturday’s match at Clandeboye Park.
He said: “The club acted correctly and quickly on the matter and admitted the mistake straight away.
“Cliftonville had three days to protest and we informed all the relevant authorities.
“It has been public knowledge for seven weeks. Why would they (cup organisers the County Antrim & District FA) wait so long to act?
“We’ve put other good teams (Kilmore Rec, Abbey Villa and Killyleagh) out of the competition, so if they haven’t done it by now, why act now.”
“We haven’t heard anything from the County Antrim FA, so we are going ahead as planned.”
When the Ballymoney Times contacted the cup organisers to clarify the situation, a spokesman said it had received no notification or complaint over the matter.
He said expulsion could be an option as Belfast side Albert Foundry were booted out for fielding an unsigned player.
The spokesman added: “We would have to look at the possibility, but in this case I can’t comment.
“If no-one has complained there is nothing to investigate, but that’s not to say that there won’t be.”
Meanwhile, on a more upbeat note for the club Scott said he was delighted with his side’s performance after earning a 1-1 draw at Tobermore United on Saturday.
Loan signing Mark Anderson was again on the scoresheet to earn a share of the spoils.